(Read Part 1 HERE)

In a previous article, I explained how I recently had someone (seemingly) attempt to burn my house down using a gas can.  My experience that night was humbling – as a guy that puts a fair amount of thought into preparation and safety, I found myself utterly unprepared, and my family utterly unsafe.

As you can imagine, I didn’t get much sleep the night of the fire.  Instead, I used that anxious energy to conduct a thorough inventory of the emergency gear I have at home, and to consolidate that gear into a single location that not only I could easily access, but my wife would know of if I weren’t there.  We also updated our emergency exit strategies to include the possibility of a fire blocking both doors, which brings up the first important lesson I feel the need to address:

Have a plan

Be sure to establish a specific location to meet if you become separated from your family members in the event of an emergency.  My wife and I have two, in the event the first location is compromised by fire or another form of threat.  Having a meeting point can help you get accountability of everyone, so you can make sure your family got out safely, or quickly identify if anyone is missing.  Practice evacuations as often as you test your smoke alarms (once a month).